Action Competence as an Integrating Objective for Environmental Education

P.J. Fontes


This paper outlines briefly some of the factors and forces that have led to the multiplicity of approaches to and the dis-integration of the objectives of environmental education. It traces the evolution of the understanding of the concept of action competence, and of its application in environmental education research and practice in Portugal. The comprehensiveness of action competence allows and requires that environmental education integrate separate and sometimes opposed approaches: knowledge, in the form of know- that, about the environment and about society; knowledge, in the form of knowhow, of how to act, individually and collectively, to bring about change; and the will to act, will-to, based on affections and values that impel and sustain action.

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